Around four million voters of the 5.6 million population in Denmark, *Greenland and the Faroe Islands go to the polls today to vote in a general election for the 179 seats in the parliament or Folketinget.
There are nine main parties fighting for the 179 seats with around 804 candidates. The parties are broadly in two blocs, the government bloc or ‘Blues’ and the opposition ‘Red’ coalition, although some parties such as the Social Liberal Party (RV) could easily switch into either camp.
Polls open at 9 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. local time.
The result looks set to see the opposition Social Democratic Party (SD) emerging as the largest party, although the polls have narrowed since the beginning of the year and polling between the two main parties is well within the pollsters margin of error. The Social Democrats could well lose seats, but the smaller parties in the Red bloc are doing much better and may hold the balance of power.
The most recent polling for the parties is shown below with the 2007 general election result shown in brackets.
Venstre (V) 24.2% (26.2% – 46 seats)
Social Democratic Party (SD) 25.1% (25.5% – 45 seats)
Danish People’s Party (DF) 12.1% (13.9% – 25 seats)
Socialist People’s Party (SF) 10.5% (13.0% – 23 seats)
Conservative People’s Party (KF) 5.9% (10.4% – 18 seats)
Social Liberal Party (RVB) 9.6% (5.1% – 9 seats)
Liberal Alliance 5.2% (2.8% – 5 seats)
Red Green Alliance 6.5% (2.2% – 4 seats)
If the election is as close as predicted then watch the Social Liberal Party, sometimes referred to as the Radical Left. Both of the main parties, the governing Venstre and opposition Social Democrats have been talking to them. They represent a centrist approach to politics but on balance their leader Margrethe Vestager is more likely to go with the Social Democrats.
Should the Venstre** lose the election and go into opposition then many analysts are predicting that the Danish People’s Party, who have dictated anti-immigration rules in the current government, may well decline rapidly without the oxygen of power.
* Greenland and the Faroe Islands hold two seats each in the Folketinget.
**Venstre means left, but in fact the party is a centre right party. Read the history behind the name and the party under the Denmark country page and then Political Parties.